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January 6, 2012

Nikon D4 Officially Official: 'Multimedia' DSLR Features Uncompressed HDMI Output

The new full-frame Nikon D4, as rumored, brings with it a bevy of new video features. It will do 1080p at 30/25/24 frames-per-second, and up to 60 FPS at 720p. It will ship with a microphone input and dedicated headphone jack (both with adjustable levels), and supports the new XQD memory card format. And while the h.264 codec is only 24Mbps, to complain about the bitrate would be to ignore the biggest new feature: a clean, uncompressed HDMI output. Nikon has finally gotten serious about video.

The 16-megapixel camera is slated to ship next month for $6,000. One more interesting tidbit from DPReview, which covers the ability to crop in 2.7X for a pixel-for-pixel 1080p signal. And as far as sensor size goes, this has the same 36x24mm near-VistaVision sensor size of the famous Canon 5D Mark II:

Movies can also be shot at three different crops from the sensor, which Nikon is describing as FX, DX and 2.7X (native 1920x1080). This makes it easy to vary the field-of-view for grabbing footage, even if you’ve got a prime lens mounted. However, the ‘FX’ size is a significantly cropped version of the full sensor (it’s 91% of the sensor’s width), so the field-of-view will be a little narrower than you’d expect for any given focal length. Also the native 1920x1080 video will be higher quality than the FX and DX versions, since it hasn't been downsized. This difference is likely to be incredibly small (almost certainly irrelevant for most users), but is a consideration for high-end video users.

Here's the video-specific portion of the press release (full thing here) -- note the HDMI output will work simultaneously with the Live View LCD, provided you don't record to CF/XQD media:

Professional Multimedia Features

The Nikon D4 D-SLR is engineered with innovative new features for the multimedia professional that needs the small form factor, low-light ability and NIKKOR lens versatility that only an HD-SLR can offer. The new features add functionality for those professionals looking for the best possible experience to capture a moment in Full HD 1080p video at various frame rates, providing footage that is more than suitable for broadcast.

  • Full HD video recording - Users have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including 1080p 30/24fps and 60 fps at 720p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 20 minutes per clip. This format also allows for more accurate video data to be transferred requiring less memory capacity. The sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion.
  • Full manual control of exposure - Shutter speed, aperture and ISO can be changed while recording to adapt to lighting and alter depth of field for professional cinematic results that help realize a creative vision.
  • Uncompressed output: simultaneous Live View - By using the camera’s HDMI port instead of the CF or XQD card, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera. This footage can be ported into an LCD display or appropriate external recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections.
  • Audio recording for professionals - The Nikon D4 features a stereo headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Output can be adjusted in up to 30 steps for precise audio adjustment. The D4 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. The microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction.
  • Multi-area Mode Full HD Video: FX/DX, and 2.7x crop mode at 1080p video modes -Whether shooting for depth of field in FX format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D4 allows videographers to retain full 1080P HD resolution no matter what mode they choose. With the 2.7x crop, users can experience ultra-telephoto benefits in full HD resolution all at 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Simultaneous live view output without display / simultaneous monitor - Shooters have the option to send the display signal directly to an attached monitor via the HDMI port. This signal can be viewed on the camera’s LCD screen and external monitor simultaneously. Additionally, the image data display can be cleared from the screen, to remove distracting data or when feeding a live signal.
  • Full-time AF - In addition to manual focus, four modes are available, including normal, wide area, face detection and subject tracking, which uses fast contrast detect AF to accurately focus while recording video and in live view.
  • New LCD screen - The large high resolution 3.2-inch LCD screen is 921K dots, and includes auto brightness adjustment. User’s can also zoom in up to 46x to check critical HD focus.
  • Time lapse shooting - This new feature combines a selected frame rate and “shooting interval” in a dedicated time lapse photography menu. Playback can be achieved with a wide variety of speeds from 24x to 36,000x while producing a fully finished movie file output for faster multimedia workflows.
  • Remote shutter operation - Using dedicated Movie Custom Settings, recording can be set to be engaged by the shutter release button -users can now use a variety of remote accessories to trigger video recording.
  • NIKKOR lens compatibility - The highest caliber optics are vital to creating HD images and Nikon is the world leader in optics manufacturing with a legacy spanning more than 75 years. Nikon has a vast NIKKOR lens system, with more than 50 lenses with a variety of focal lengths and features, including VR II vibration reduction.

I'm assuming that's an 8-bit HDMI output... unless we learn otherwise. Check out the first video shot on the D4 here.

Your Comment

17 Comments

Clean HDMI output is 1080i - interlaced. What's the point of that? Made for broadcast?

January 6, 2012

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Source?

January 6, 2012

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Gabe

I couldn´t imagine I would have to take allways with me some external hdmi recorder so I can have good sharp videos anytime, even when I´m not at work.. the 24mbit codec is stupid , frame rates, crop modes , and full manual control has also the GH2, if the 1080i HDMI output is true then this camera is tottally video crippled.. the official video looks good , but to be honest... which official video sucks? not much interest.. sorry nikon..

January 6, 2012

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matt

This a reply to another person named Matt. It is obvious that he is ignorant of HDMI signals which packages 1080p in 1080i. Matt before you comment on something you don't know, try to read up on technology before making idioting comments.

January 9, 2012

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matthew

The 1080i question was only one minor element that Matt discussed.Even at 1080p you still need to lug an external recorder around (in addition to the camera's hefty $6,000 price).

P.S. what\s "idioting"?

January 12, 2012

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Jacques E. Bouchard

Yes, but it has always been the case that it is a 24p image that is wrapped in a 1080i scene for hdmi output. All the pro camera from f3 etc use the same thing. External recorders like the atomos ninja and pix recorder will put it back in its original 24p format for you before compression to 220 mbit prores HQ. I would really have preferred a better internal codec but at least we have very high quality uncompressed output that can recorded at very high quality.

January 6, 2012

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Danyyyel

Thats how hdmi works, its just 1080p wrapped up in a 1080i signal, this is not interlaced or crippled.

January 6, 2012

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Nikon D4 Digital SLR camera release and review/preview
http://theonlinefilmschool.com/?p=464

January 6, 2012

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Uncompressed footage outweighs bit-rate by far. There are very limited conditions that call for 10-bit, although I prefer higher color sampling like 422 over 420. Most people who trash 8-bit really haven't learned to work with it.

Here's my 8-bit 4:2:0 footage from the F3 under extreme grading, you be the judge...

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?271629-Impressive-8-bit-420-gra...!

January 6, 2012

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star

so they really fooled me on this one: I thought the leaked spec lists were fanboy wishlists (mainly because I thought QXD was still not mature)

January 6, 2012

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Great Blog. Here's a new Sci-Fi/Horror DSLR short of mine shot with the Nikon D7000.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2189H7DXrM

January 8, 2012

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video features reviewed here http://vimeo.com/34720376
including hdmi recording with Atomos Ninja

January 8, 2012

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alex

I read the specifications on nikon.com and can't find such terms like "uncompressed video out". Can someone link me the official paper wich says that the D4 has "uncompressed video out"?

kind regards

Andi

January 11, 2012

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Andi

The sample looks like theres frame skipping...

January 12, 2012

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bradd

I was actually paying more attention to the vfx/motion graphics, sound design, editing, grading, and impressive cinematography with some good lighting of the promo video.

January 12, 2012

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PsTak

The different crop modes for video are a nice feature. Go Full-Frame, or 35mm (1.5x) or extreme tele 2.7x and still get the full 1080p resolution.

I also like the special menu for timelapse settings.

January 13, 2012

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Heiko

Looks great....if you want to shoot 2K or 4K there is other kit out there, as stated in other posts HDMI (which is HD-SDI in drag) is 1080i you can use external kit or software to conform it to 1080p not an issue.
I not too bothered about the internal codec either you would be surprised how good H264 can look.
If its 10bit o/p 4:2:2 then it will frighten quite a few manufactures.
8 bit is grand..I shoot F3 or AF101 ..great images if you know how to shoot and the tweaks to get round any issues..

January 13, 2012

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